IS FAST FASHION REALLY THAT BAD?
A few weeks ago HuffPost asked me to share a statement for an article called...
"Fast Fashion. Is it 'really' that bad?"
My first thought was, "how on earth can I sum this up in one statement?"
Many of you know that fast fashion was a personal springboard for the creation of Classic Six. It's been quite a journey starting with a fashion blog, that later turned into closet overwhelm of ridiculous proportions, that then forced me to look at the complexities of fast fashion, and ultimately create a brand with a mission to combat the overwhelm of choice and the disposability that fuels fast fashion.
I'm not sure which snippet, if any, Huffpost will use from my below statement, but whatever the case, today is Earth Day and I can't think of a better day to take a short dive into the world of fast fashion and the consequential effects of it. Here is my take on it all...
The fast fashion "problem" is complex. While the social, economic and environmental impacts of fast fashion are endless, the disposability and excess of it all is where I think the cyclical problem truly rests. Having once been an avid fast fashion shopper, the overwhelm of choice that fast fashion provided to me was actually the catalyst for the creation of Classic Six. In the simplest of ways, here is how I see it...
When we buy something because it is inexpensively mass produced or trendy (two qualities that perfectly sum up fast fashion), we aren't (for the most part) putting much thought into the longevity of this item. We are often buying because it's cheap; buying because we think we need; buying not out of love, but out of impluse.
This is the epitome of fast fashion. Speed and impulsive pressure to buy.
Because of this, the demand is then created to fill this impulse. This demand trickles down to not only factories that are forced to compete with each other in the cost of labor and materials, but also to the stores and brands that are potentially buying more than they can even sell to keep the never ending options quickly available to us...to feed that impulse.
We buy that item without even thinking twice. It is then worn a few times, if at all, because the likelihood of a less emotional connection to this inexpensive item is high. This item is then likely disposed of or donated when no longer wanted. Donation sounds fine with the exception that nearly 80% of discarded or donated textiles are headed for a landfill and only 20% are actually reused or recycled.
So how do we stop this never ending cycle? I think it is as straightforward as slowing down and being more mindful of our purchases...to become more conscious consumers. Take a few minutes or even days when you see something you like to think about how you will wear it. Ask yourself when you will wear it and what you will wear it with. Do you love it so much you can see yourself reinventing it for years to come? Is the quality something that will stand the test of time?
We talk so much about sustainability in the fashion industry, but from my perspective buying with these intentions is the only true sustainable option. Unfortunately fast fashion doesn't allow us this luxury.
How do you feel about fast fashion? Is it "really" that bad?